The most celebrated and revered holiday for the Muslim community worldwide is finally here. Known as the day of Eid, this day is marked by adherents of the religion of Islam across the globe and alongside Muslim countries, several non-Muslim countries like Kenya and Burundi also have a national holiday on the day of Eid.
The day of Eid ul Fitr loosely translates to a holiday of breaking the fast as the eve of Eid marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan. Muslims flock to mosques to pray the customary Eid prayers before exchanging pleasantries and spending quality time with family and friends, the aroma of the Eid special traditional foods wafts through the streets as people gather and feast together, celebrating the end of an entire month of fasting.
Muslims also pay Zakaat on the day of Eid. This is an Islamic tax, a form of almsgiving which is a religious obligation. The money collected is then primarily used to feed the less fortunate.
The day of Eid ul Fitr depends on the sighting of the moon. This year, Saudi Arabia has announced Eid on the 21st of April with the UAE and other gulf countries following suit. Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Sudan, Yemen, North America, Tunisia and Syria have declared Eid tomorrow as well. However, South Asia, Parts of Africa, and Europe will celebrate Eid on 22nd of April 2022.
Preparations for a fun-filled week are in full swing around the world. Dearborn, home to the largest Muslim population in the US is gearing up for an exciting weekend, as the local Zainabia center in collaboration with Al-Ajal Detroit is organizing an Eid carnival while the Islamic House of Wisdom will host an exciting festival complete with a petting farm, a variety of food vendors and lots of activities for children.
Across Africa, Eid celebrations are also well under way with Tanzania’s Arusha hosting a dinner at the local mosque and a family night out at the region’s largest national park, the NgoroNgoro Crater. Tayyiba Bhalloo, a prominent member of the Arusha community spoke to TMJ news about the exciting activities lined up in honor of Eid.
The city of Dar es Salaam also held several programs in the holy month of Ramadan such as the brain of the community, several Qur’an contests, an intense yet gratifying Voice of the Community competitions, a ramadhan souq, according to a youth member of the community, Zainab Raza. The community is also bracing to host a large eid lunch for all its roughly eight thousand plus members.
Neighboring country Burundi is organizing an Eid Souq that has been initiated by two members of the Muslim community Aisha Jahangir and Sarah Ashak. ‘’ We wish to embrace inclusivity with the eid souk by welcoming people from all walks of life to come and celebrate in unison,’’ said Aisha. ‘’This will further highlight the essence of Eid, where we celebrate unity and love,” she added. The carnival is also hosting several vendors and seeks to embrace diversity.
Across the red sea, Palestine is hoping to have a peaceful Eid this year following brutal raids by the Israeli occupying forces on April 5th 2023 at the Al-Aqsa Mosque where Palestinian worshippers were praying.
Under intense international pressure, notorious Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu banned all non-Muslims from entering the Al Aqsa Mosque till the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
According to Arab News, the Palestinian government granted public-sector employees an advance payment of 30 percent of their April salaries, which will help them prepare for Eid. The government will also pay them their salary in full from this month onwards for the first time after a while, after reducing their wages due to a severe financial crisis.
Fellow oppressed Arab nation Yemen, however, witnessed a tragedy that has claimed the lives of over 85 people just days before Eid-ul- Fitr. On Wednesday 20th April, hundreds of people crammed into a school complex in the Bab al-Yemen district of the country’s capital Sanaa, hoping to receive a charitable donation of roughly $10 that was being distributed by merchants as a gift token. The situation escalated when a gunshot was fired in the air to try controlling the crowd, which hit an electrical wire and exploded. This caused panic to those waiting and led to a stampede.
The merchants who organized the event are currently under investigation and the Ansar Allah announced that they will pay $2000 in compensation to each family who lost a relative in the incident and also stated that the over 300 injured will receive $400.
Poverty is still very rampant in the war-torn Yemen with more than 21 million people in dire need of assistance and protection. Despite the US-Backed Saudi Coalition Army announcing that they will end the war in Yemen, the collateral damage caused solely by them is beyond repair with a third of the country’s population pushed to the brink of poverty.
Many Muslims have taken to social media to pray for the oppressed countries around the world on the Day of Eid, expressing their desire to see every country being able to celebrate Eid with profound happiness and love.
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